“The only opportunity for a future for kids in the remote community is an education … if it doesn’t happen for them at school … well, it limits their life outcome.”

The sense of vocation and determination expressed by this beginning principal of a remote Catholic school in north Western Australia highlights the importance and relevance of quality education and leadership. The desire to provide the best educational opportunities for young people is strong amongst school leaders. The complexities surrounding remote and rural schooling are great. However, such complexities are further compounded when one is new to the role of school principal. This paper initially explores features of rural and remote schooling. It then reports on the findings from a study examining the professional and personal needs of beginning principals in Western Australian rural and remote Catholic schools. The research reflects on the beginning school principals’ needs in the areas of their technical and managerial knowledge, cultural and personal relationships, and the integration of their principal role with their self-identity.


school principalship, Catholic schools, remote schools, rural schools


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